Sea, Katie had to stay 5 years, without showing that she was in a relationship because of a divorce clause. I wonder if Louis actually broke some contract clause, and had to negotiate a new contract with Simon, which is absurd in this new contract. This clause of Katie is absurd and it looks like it was with another actor. Imagine what Louis had to sign and for how many years. Only some absurd clause can explain what Louis is going through. Thank God he's got some support.
Five years isn’t even the longest that someone has had to adhere to a contract.
Kelly Clarkson had a 13-year, 7-album deal with American Idol, finally becoming a free agent in 2015.
Just before the contract expired, Clive Davis of Sony slammed her work ethic in his book. Kelly defended herself, without impugning Sony.
A collective lawsuit was filed by American Idol winners in 2014, alleging underpayment of royalties in the millions of dollars (ongoing, as far as I know):
These practices are widespread. They didn’t start or end with Michael Jackson and Prince. Record labels are now concentrated into even fewer companies, effectively acting as monopolies. Not only record labels— but performance venues and radio stations, too, as we have seen.
The artists who are established, and have the financial means of owning their creative work (like Louis), at least have some control over their own material. Artists just starting out are at the companies’ mercy.